The Mamalies success story

In the late summer of 2015 thousands of people fled their homes, arriving daily in Germany. Their goal – to build a safe existence for themselves and their families. Leyla Oehlrich, herself having fled from Iran with her family, is at this time the mother of a 3-month old child. She wants to get involved in civil society – not an easy undertaking with a small child. At the same time there are many women who having fled for their lives and liberty, wish to participate in the offered courses but cannot because their children are too small.

Leyla Oehlrich introduces a voluntary educational programme for women, including child care facilities. This is the beginning of the Mamalies story. The demand is great and so at the beginning of 2017 the civic commitment becomes a meeting and educational Center. The Traditional firm Gebruder Heinemann provides indoor premises of 400 square metres in Hamburg Hafencity free of charge. The women come from the entire urban area because this is the only offered opportunity of its kind. The influx keeps growing. 1000 women and children take part in our monthly educational offers designed by over 35 dedicated contributers, school classes and senior citizens. The Cooperation with others, diverse encounters and the the piloting of innovative educational approaches are very much the guiding principles of Mamalies.

In order to sustainably finance the work Mamalies becomes a non-Profit limited company in the late summer of 2017, and in this same year receives its first public funding. The Corona pandemic and the associated closures of facilities offers the chance to reorganise the company. It is restructured and it’s work professionalized in mid 2020 with the recruitment of Sidonie Fernau as a new Partner thus adding additional competencies to the common goal -educational equity from the start.

In the following two years we have been able to scale our offer. Mamalies is now a well established social enterprise. The individual visits of women and children have multiplied and new offers and opportunities are constantly being introduced and established.

We very much look forward to hearing from you.

Our telephone number is 0176 73552851;
Our E-Mail address is